Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/19/14
What to expect Week 1 of the 2013 NBA preseason is complete, and the Portland Trail Blazers are 1-2 entering their contest with the Utah Jazz. The game will be on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at EnergySolutions Arena. Up to this point, there’s been a number of takeaways for fans in Rip City. The team has played some sloppy basketball, and injuries have been a problem; but above all else, the team finally won its first contest in 15 outings (dating back to the 2012-13 season). Entering Week 2, the Portland faithful will be looking for a few things to improve — or stay consistent. The Blazers have two games this week, or three if you include Sunday’s matchup against the Sacramento Kings. Fewer Turnovers During the first three games of the preseason, Portland averaged more than 20 turnovers per contest. If that number had been the same during last year’s regular season, it would have put the Blazers in last place in that category. Damian Lillard will be faced with a defensive challenge in Chris Paul next week (Photo: Oregonlive) When this team takes the court in Week 2, look for a more cohesive unit to come together. The roster has changed since last season, and while one week won’t define their year, it will give them a better idea of how each player operates. Don’t be shocked to see the turnovers stay high, but expect to see better passes and fewer miscues when it’s all said and done. Damian Lillard’s Defense Damian Lillard was coveted as the top rookie throughout the entire 2012-13 season. He was the easy choice for Rookie of the Year, and he was just the fourth player in history to earn unanimous honors. But while he hit the scene immediately with his offensive game, it was his defense that left people questioning his superstar potential. During Portland’s most recent outing against the Utah Jazz, Lillard showed that he has it in him to be a solid defender. He smothered rookie point guard Trey Burke from start to finish, forcing the youngster to finish with just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting. Lillard’s defense still needs work, as his best performance is against a player with zero NBA experience. That said, we’ve heard all along about how he’s motivated to prove people wrong, and following up a good performance with an even better one should be his goal every night out. Health Preseason basketball doesn’t matter when it comes to making the playoffs, but it does matter when it comes to regular season preperation. While fans want to see every player perform night in and night out, the Blazers will play it safe when it comes to the health of their best players. At this point, we’ve seen LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Mo Williams and CJ McCollum miss time to injury. LaMarcus Aldridge and Mo Williams have since returned, but CJ McCollum is out for the foreseeable future with a broken bone in his foot. When it comes to Nicolas Batum, a concussion is likely to keep him out more time. In his place will be players such as Victor Claver, Will Barton and Allen Crabbe.  Expect to see the core unit slowly integrate throughout the week, but don’t be shocked if the youngsters earn more time before the regular season finally comes around. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

What if the Chargers refused to trade Eli Manning?

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

What if the Chargers didn't trade Eli?

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Is Lance a problem for the Hornets?

5 NFL takeaways from Thanksgiving

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.